For the last twelve months, I have lived with the worst couch in the world. This is a couch whose sharp, plywood corners could give you a concussion; a couch whose cheap, polyester upholstery has been disintegrating since its arrival. Before sitting down after a long day, a person is obliged to heave its unwieldy cushions back into their correct configuration only to have to get up and repeat this sad ritual at several points in an evening. If two people wish to sit in this couch at the same time, every shift of weight or crossing of legs becomes an aggressive play for space. This is a couch made by martians who once heard vague stories of human furniture through the static of interstellar space.
It was time for it to go.
As you can see above, a brand new, real life, honest to god couch has usurped the worst couch in the world. Because I am a believer in Using Every Part of the Buffalo, (and perhaps because the long months with the worst couch in the world have given birth to a twisted, quiet rage,) I decided to wrench the thing apart and see if I could salvage some bits and pieces.
Turning the couch into a limp pile of debris brought some measure of satisfaction, but not the raw materials I’d been hoping for. I thought the thing might yield extra press boards for the bindery, but the powdery plywood I exhumed was of such poor quality that I gave up that ambition almost immediately. The foam, however, I had more hope for. Several years ago, I came across a copy of a copy of a copy of a bookbinding handout* suggesting a little something that I wanted to try, and the death of the couch had delivered what I needed.
First I hacked off a piece of foam roughly the same dimensions as my press boards.
The foam was a bit thick for my needs, so divided it in two with my olfa knife. This process was surprisingly reminiscent of old videos I’ve seen featuring whalers collecting blubber, further enhancing my gruesome fantasy of harvesting the couch for parts.
I set the newly covered board face up on a press board, put the foam directly on top without any scrap paper, and added another press board.
A CALL TO ARMS
Bookbinding friends, do you want to try this? You don’t need a whole ikea couch, just a good piece of foam. I’d love to see what is possible with this goofy technique. Send a photo by May 1st and I’ll put them all online. Maybe even with prizes. Extra credit if your foam has been harvested from something horrible. What say you? (Low res) Photos should be emailed to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
PS. A NOTE ON FOAM STORAGE. I swear to you, six people have entered our flat since the foam has been deposited here, and not one of them has noticed it yet. Spot the foam:
*Thanks due to Dr. Elsi Vassdall Ellis for her handout